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School Preparedness

To enhance child security and school preparedness, the Department of Homeland Security offers funding, training, and resources for efforts such as providing money for emergency preparedness, training school bus drivers in security, and hardening school buildings’ vulnerability.
Ask the Department about school preparedness.

Grant Funding

  • FEMA grant money can be used for planning, purchasing equipment, training, and other efforts to support school security.
  • COPS Safe School Grants help state and local agencies with delinquency prevention, community planning and development, school safety resources, and technology development.
  • The Cops in Schools (CIS) grant program helps law enforcement agencies hire new, additional school resource officers to engage in community policing in and around primary and secondary schools.
  • Homeland Security Overtime Program (HSOP) supplements grantee agency's state or locally funded overtime budgets in order to pay officer overtime during homeland security training sessions and other law enforcement activities designed to help prevent acts of terrorism and other violent or drug-related crimes.
  • COPS Technology Grants fund the continued development of technologies and automated systems that help law enforcement agencies prevent, respond to, and investigate crime.

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Planning and Training

  • National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) provides a coordinated approach to critical infrastructure and key resource protection roles and responsibilities for federal, state, local, tribal, and private-sector security partners.
  •, a cooperative effort with the American Trucking Association, provides security awareness training to school bus drivers, employees, and the law enforcement community.
  • provides school transportation professionals with the tools and resources they need to make school buses safe, affordable, and efficient nationwide.
  • National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT) offers many courses to help U.S. citizens prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from acts of domestic and international terrorism, weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and high-consequence events through teaching, training, technical assistance, and research.

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  • American Red Cross Masters of Disaster Curriculum Kit contains ready-to-go lesson plans, activities, and demonstrations on disaster-related topics that teachers can incorporate within core subject areas. While strengthening students' core academic skills in science, math, social studies, and language arts, the Masters of Disaster curriculum educates them about hazards that cause injury, death, and damage in the United States.
  • Emergency Response and Crisis Management (ERCM) Technical Assistance (TA) Center supports schools and school districts in crisis management, including how to develop and implement comprehensive emergency and crisis response plans. Resources such as guidance documents, web-based training sessions, updated information on the Department of Education's ERCM discretionary grant program, and newsletters addressing key issues are featured on the website.

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  • Citizen Corps is the nationwide grassroots effort to provide all Americans with the knowledge, skills, and capability to take responsibility for their own safety and for that of their families and neighbors.
  • Guide to Managing Threatening School Situations (PDF, 99 pages - 755 KB), includes suggestions for developing a threat assessment team within a school or school district, steps to take when a threat or other information of concern comes to light, considerating when to involve law enforcement personnel, issues of information sharing, and ideas for creating safe school climates.
  • for Kids is the Department of Homeland Security's national public awareness campaign.
  • Emergency Planning page for School Leaders, published by the U.S. Department of Education, provides information that can help school leaders plan for any emergency, including natural disasters, violent incidents, and terrorist acts.
  • Conference on School Safety lists best practices and lessons learned about school safety as discusssed at the U.S. Department of Education October 2006 conference.
  • Preparing Your School for a Crisis, published by the U.S. Department of Education, is designed to assist schools and communities with either creating a new or updating an existing crisis plan.

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Ask the Department about school preparedness.

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This page was last reviewed/modified on March 21, 2008.